Day 128 Ottawa

We woke, startled, this morning at 03:46 when a girl in her undies staggered into our room and stood, disoriented, in the kitchenette.  Daniel managed a coherent sentence, “I think you’ve got the wrong room!”  I managed a loud and aggressive, “Hello!?”  She staggered out.  I wondered how she’d opened the door – when I was on tour with Steps Youth Dance Company in Townsville as a teenager our room key opened several other rooms across the hostel complex.  Dan didn’t think it necessitated worry and rolled over, trying to go back to bed.  He soon got up, to go out to the toilet, and found that he’d left the key in the door earlier in the night when we’d got home.  I grabbed our wallets and stuffed them into my pillowcase.  I’m the more paranoid about personal security.

In the morning we checked out of the hostel, and stored our baggage in a locker.  Number 42.  It matches my gym towel, which I carry in my bag.  Not that I believe I’d need a towel to wave down a passing alien spaceship, but since reading Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy in high school I felt it prudent to carry a towel in my bag ever since. I’ve yet to need it.

We walked South down Elgin St, passing several nice buildings and sculptures and trees with autumnal leaves. Dan got very happy to see a red tree.

We ate breakfast at a 24-hour diner that was very busy.  The food was not bad.  I had already picked up a Nutella latté up the road at Ministry of Coffee, which did an all right coffee. The barista had an Aussie accent.  The girl at the cash machine was laconic and disinterested.  I hadn’t eaten and if she’d picked up any food item and shoved it in my face and said, “Try this, it’s nice!” I would’ve.

We then spent a few hours in the Canadian Museum of Nature.  It was the best natural history museum yet.  And that includes Australia, UK, Germany and Canada. There wasn’t information overload.  The interpretation included tactile, audio, visual, dioramas…  I loved it.

We went back to the hostel to collect our luggage, and recharge our phones.  They lose battery so quick when we aren’t in T-dot.  In the hostel bar there was spoken poetry by people with dreadlocks and guitars.  I found it interesting but we had to leave to eat.  Nearby there was a restaurant called Albion Rooms that had looked amazing when we walked by on Friday night.  The website said it was open on Sunday but there was nobody there.  We ate in the market district instead.

After eating Daniel wanted to walk up to Nepean Point – as there was a statue and it looked like a good point for photographs, which it was.  We had a good quiet moment discussing the pros and cons of getting married in Canada versus waiting for Australia to pass legislation.  For me getting married is a public celebration of a relationship with a couple’s family and friends; having to get married overseas and know that most of your family and friends can’t afford it just doesn’t cut it.  We are still undecided.

The last film for the Inside Out Film Festival was Five Dances, which was really a contemporary dance film, with a bit of a plot to string together five dance works.  I spent half the film marvelling at how much one of the actor/dancers looked like Reed, from Steps Youth Dance Company.  At the credits I realised it was Reed!  So many guys I danced with in Steps have gone on to work in Sydney, New York, everywhere.  It made me regret going back to work in medicine for the last six years.  I only performed at Sydney Opera House, Reed is now in New York, rolling around on a wooden floor in the cold, wearing a flimsy singlet.  It’s so easy to forget that when I left working as a company dancer it was because it had become a job.  We had class, we had rehearsal, we had call, six shows a week.

My intention was to improve my technique and take up night adult ballet classes, while completing my medical specialist training.  Then I could afford to pay my mortgage (Australian Level 3 dance award barely covered rent and food, let alone a mortgage).  Toronto must have adult ballet or contemporary classes I can enrol in.

Porter lounge at Ottawa had free salted almonds and orange juice.  I approve.


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